In our art tent, we hear the same thing over and over: “Oh, I could never do that, I don’t have a creative bone in my body.” Boys and girls, we will attempt to dismantle that fallacy today. In the past weeks I’ve been trying to learn to paint, doing some drawing, things I haven’t done in a long, long time. I make my living making and selling mosaic art, but I am being very humbled by trying to learn a new set of skills. I like a challenge, and I love to learn, but it’s got me thinking a lot about the “muscle” of creativity.
I joined the Y last month and am using muscles that had been content on the sidelines, and for quite a while. My start there was also very humbling; I left in tears once, upset that I had let myself get so weak. I felt so disconnected from my younger, stronger self, like an old alien woman had replaced me. Done lost my mojo. But I came back the next day. And the next… Once I powered through the soreness, and shame… such deep shame….I eventually got to a place where I found new energy, new strength in my body.
We each arrive with a body, with a mind. Inside each of us is the ability to create, and some leaning toward a particular avenue of creativity. Some of us are word people, like to speak and write; more visual people are drawn to graphic expressions, others express themselves musically…and on and on. My belief is that we are created, inhabiting a created planet; it makes sense that we’d all have this gene. We can numb it, ignore it, or dismiss it…but it doesn’t leave. It is only dormant. Pick up a pen….a piece of glass…an instrument…follow whatever sparkle you’ve always loved. And yes, maybe cry a bit like me at the gym at your first attempts. But push through it, and you’ll feel that muscle begin to finally flex.
I’ve recently found myself, almost accidentally, involved with a group of women who happen to be, for the most part, awake to their latent creative chops. We’re in various states of disrepair; in other words, regular women. Some bear wounds that are very fresh. None of us are unscathed, of course. And what started initially as a social evening is beginning to organically develop into a haven of sorts. But what is really intriguing to me is that creativity seems to be an instrument of healing among us. One recently divorced woman is making her way through her confusion by writing words of great honesty and power…. I sit in awe of this process, my mouth hanging open in reverence…and delight. Another goes to several drawing classes a week, channeling her pain into pieces of art that communicate… STRENGTH. All of her work contains a fierceness that so encourages me. Another is a dear friend who shares my broken heart, also lost her son pretty recently. But her art journaling has been her path of healing, and watching this process has brought light into my darkness as well. In fact, I’m signing up for an art journaling class with some of these women. I can use all the healing and sisterhood I can get.
I so believe in the power of sharing. Lately, everything in the universe is pointing me toward the feminine. Those that know me well understand how unusual, and meaningful, this is to me. I am the girl with many male friends, or I was in the north anyway. Down here, it’s a little different…. And so am I, actually. But I didn’t like some female activities….and behaviors, to be honest. It didn’t hurt that I have a ridiculously overactive and immature sense of humor too; sorry, guys. However…. When I lost Zack, it was the sisters who carried me through. My guy friends were all terrified, I gotta say. But what’s weird is that this group of women all have had similar issues with females. And yet, we’re traveling together…. Probably with some fear and trepidation, but hey, we’re moving forward. And art and creativity seem to be the healing signs along our highway. I know in my spirit that something deeply significant is happening here. I’m excited about it, and grateful. Like I said, I love learning. Learning how wrong I was about women has been a great lesson to me, and I’m ready for more growth and creativity.